WINTER WONDERLAND (WESTBOUND)
Our tours along the Trans-Siberian route in winter are an exceptional and unique experience. Undoubtedly the world’s greatest railway journey, the Trans-Siberian Railway runs like a steel ribbon connecting east and west from Moscow over the Urals, across the magnificent Russian steppe and alongside the shore of the world’s largest freshwater lake.
VLADIVOSTOK – KHABAROVSK – ULAAN BAATAR – ULAN UDE – LAKE BAIKAL – IRKUTSK – NOVOSIBIRSK – YEKATERINBURG – SUZDAL – VLADIMIR – MOSCOW
What makes your journey unique?
- See the iconic Winter Wonderland scenery by horse-drawn sleigh
- Experience a traditional Russian Banya (sauna)
- Watch ice fishing at Lake Baikal and sample the catch
- Ride a dog-sledge or snowmobile
- Witness an enchanting choral performance in St Euthymius Monastery, Suzdal
|Day 1: Vladivostok|
Arrive at Vladivostok Airport where you are met and transferred to the four-star Hotel Hyundai for a one night stay. We will enjoy a welcome reception dinner at our hotel, whilst you meet your fellow travellers and anticipate the epic 15 day voyage that lies ahead.
Why not extend your stay in Vladivostok with additional nights to explore more of the city at your leisure?
|Day 2: Vladivostok|
Vladivostok is a military port, located on the western shores of the Sea of Japan and is home to the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet. Due to its military importance, the city was closed to foreigners between 1930 and 1992. Vladivostok (literally translated as ‘Ruler of the East’) offers visitors an interesting opportunity to explore its principal military attractions including a visit to a preserved World War Two submarine. Our city tour will also take us to the iconic suspension bridge over Golden Horn Bay, one of the largest of its kind worldwide, which opened in 2012 for the APEC conference.
Following a champagne reception at Vladivostok Railway Station, and with a military band playing on the platform, we will board the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express. After settling into our modern, stylish cabins we enjoy dinner in the restaurant car as our rail adventure westwards begins.
|Day 3: Khabarovsk|
Located 15 miles (25 kilometres) from the border with China, Khabarovsk stretches along the banks of the Amur River. Khabarovsk was founded as a military post in 1858, but the region had been populated by several indigenous peoples of the Far East for many centuries. It is now a busy city with tree-lined streets.
Located next to the station we will pass the memorial to Yerofey Pavlovich Khabarov, the Far East explorer the city is named after, and see the impressive World War Two memorial to the fallen soldiers. We will also have time at the Regional Museum where the local history has been well-preserved with a rich collection of artefacts describing the cultural and natural history of the region.
|Day 4: On Board|
Our journey follows the Shilka and Amur rivers, close to the Chinese border. Enjoy Russia at its most beautiful and remote, as the landscape unfolds outside your window. Or you may like to attend one of the absorbing lectures or Russian language lessons.
|Day 5: En-Route To Ulan Ude|
Today offers you the perfect opportunity to practice your improving Russian or watch a DVD as you watch the world pass by. For those who like to socialise, the Bar Lounge Car is the perfect place to enjoy a chat with your fellow passengers as you listen to our resident musician.
Early evening we are scheduled to arrive into Ulan Ude where there is the opportunity to take in a performance at the esteemed Buryat Opera and Ballet Theatre (subject to availability and theatre performance schedule).
|Day 6: Ulan Ude|
The ethnic and cultural diversity of Ulan Ude, the capital of the Buryat Republic, offers a unique insight into its heritage. As we tour the area you will notice the different faces of these welcoming Buryat people.
During our exploration of the Old Believers’ Village we have the opportunity to learn about the culture and history of these religious people as we are treated to a concert featuring local traditions and folk singing.
|Day 7: Lake Baikal|
Our first day by Lake Baikal offers a real highlight of travelling through Siberia in winter. Few natural sights can surpass the beauty and grandeur of Lake Baikal and today will be an unforgettable part of our Trans-Siberian journey.
For five hours we wind our way through tunnels along cliff hugging tracks above the frozen lake with a vista of snow-capped peaks along the far shore forming a picture-perfect backdrop.
Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and during winter is completely frozen. We are taken in a hovercraft on the frozen lake to the place where the ice fishing, dog sledges and snowmobiles are situated and you will enjoy the perfect vantage point to appreciate the magnificence of this unspoilt location.
There is the opportunity to watch the under-ice fishing and try the freshly caught fish which will be smoked in a mobile smokehouse and served warm with ice-cold vodka. Delicious!
|Day 8: Lake Baikal|
Our second day on the lake offers the opportunity to embrace this spectacular landscape we head deep into the countryside for more snow adventures and activities! As an additional option for your day in Baikal you may wish to visit a traditional Russian Banya (sauna) or a local Dacha house.
|Day 9: Irkutsk|
Our visit to Irkutsk, the ‘Paris of Siberia’, takes in the most significant sites and museums in this fascinating city, including an exploration of the classic wooden architecture with its intricately carved lace-like decorations that has given many of this region’s buildings such a distinctive and unique appearance. We also visit the Decembrist House museum which is dedicated to the memory of the aristocrats who were exiled to this remote outpost after the failed uprising of 1825, and we recreate the atmosphere of that time with a champagne reception and private concert.
|Day 10: En-Route To Krasnoyarsk|
A day to unwind and reflect on the main sights and sounds we have experienced on our journey so far. Chat to your fellow passengers, perhaps learn a few more words of Russian or simply enjoy the ever changing landscape outside your window.
Subject to rail timings we will make a short stop at Krasnoyarsk where we will embark on a brief city tour of this strategically important Siberian city.
|Day 11: Novosibirsk|
A modern ‘Soviet’ city, we experience the life and character of Novosibirsk’s rich culture where the arts and sciences predominate. The city is located in the heart of Russia and is situated on both banks of the River Ob. Our city tour takes us to Lenin Square where the imposing Opera House is located.
An architectural marvel, it houses two permanent ballet and opera companies and is one of the largest opera houses in the world. In front of the Opera House, we visit an impressive statue of Lenin – a marvellous opportunity to have your photograph taken with this iconic political leader.
Alternatively, our Freedom of Choice tour goes south of the city to visit Novosibirsk’s excellent Railway Museum, which displays locomotives and rolling stock from the late 1800s, including carriages of the Tsars, through to the Soviet era.
|Day 12: Yekaterinburg|
Founded in 1723 by Peter the Great, Yekaterinburg is the capital of the Urals. Known as the Great Divide, the Ural Mountains create the natural border between Europe and Asia so that the cultural and architectural influences of European and Asian civilisations come together in this fascinating and cosmopolitan landscape.
Our city tour takes us to the poignant site where the Romanov, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, was executed with his family by the Bolsheviks in 1918 following 78 days of imprisonment. Now a church dedicated to their memory, this site provides us with a powerful insight into the turmoil of the Russian Revolution.
|Day 13: Kazan|
Situated on the River Volga, the picturesque and historic city of Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan. Here we have the opportunity to see for ourselves its rich tapestry of history and culture. One of the highlights of this city tour is our exploration of the Kremlin Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within the walls of this ancient citadel we will explore its stunning mosque and picture-perfect onion-domed cathedral.
As Kazan is the birthplace of one of Russia’s most famous opera singers, Feodor Chaliapin (1873-1938), we honour his memory with a private concert of his music.
|Day 14: Moscow|
This morning we reach Moscow, the final destination on our Winter Wonderland voyage across Siberia.
Included in our time spent in Moscow is one night at the five-star Four Seasons, located in the historic building of Moskva Hotel and occupying one of the most enviable addresses in the very heart of Moscow, the hotel is a short walk from the Kremlin, Red Square and the Bolshoi Theatre.
Our touring programme of Moscow principally takes us to the grandeur of the Kremlin – the spiritual, historical and political heart of Moscow – and to see the treasures of the Tsars in the Armoury Chamber. We also visit Red Square, an iconic symbol of Russia’s former military and political might with its eclectic mix of fascinating architecture, such as the ornate St Basil’s Cathedral’s magnificent onion-domed spires, the beautiful facade of the world famous GUM department store, constructed in Tsarist times, and the sombre and evocative site of Lenin’s tomb.
Our final evening is spent saying our goodbyes to our fellow travelling companions and friends at the Farewell Dinner.
|Day 15: Moscow|
Following breakfast, any free time can be spent exploring this rapidly evolving city. At the conclusion of your time here, you will be transferred to Moscow Airport to begin your journey home.
Why not extend your stay in Moscow with additional nights to explore more of the city at your leisure or have time to take in a performance at the world-renowned Bolshoi Theatre? Tickets need to be pre-booked and are subject to schedule and availability
As far as possible our tours are all inclusive with no hidden extras. What follows are those elements which are included in the tour price. The only extra items you will need to budget for include personal expenses such as international and internal flights, visa costs, travel insurance, drinks from the Bar Lounge Car and laundry.
As with all Golden Eagle winter journeys, we provide complimentary Russian hats, traditional felt boots, a Golden Eagle embroidered scarf and woolly mittens on arrival, to help keep out the cold. You are welcome to take these home as souvenirs too.
Experienced Tour Managers
Our experienced tour managers and their assistants are selected for their travel knowledge and their linguistic and organisational abilities allowing you to relax and enjoy your rail cruise. We receive exceptional passenger comments about our Tour Managers and their aim is to ensure you enjoy every minute of your holiday.
Arrival and Departure Transfers
Arrival and departure transfers are included.
Hotel and On Board Accommodation
Although you will spend much of your time sightseeing or relaxing in the train’s public areas, you will find you hotel room or cabin a welcome retreat at the end of a rewarding day. All hotels are of 5 star standard or, in certain locations, the best available. Room upgrades are available on request and at extra cost.
Welcome and Farewell Dinners
Each tour begins with a Welcome Dinner, an ideal opportunity to get to know your fellow passengers; for the Tour Manager to brief you on the trip; and introduce you to the Golden Eagle Luxury Trains team and the Tour Doctor. The Farewell Dinner is the perfect end to your adventure by private train where you can relive the journey and look ahead to future tours.
Route Guide, Itinerary and Information Pack
When you board the train there will be a brochure in your cabin detailing more about your journey and the places en-route. Our Tour Manager will organise a programme of briefings on the cities or places we visit and, each evening, will issue a programme for the next day’s touring schedule.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Daily All departures feature one or two uniquely designed restaurant cars where you can enjoy the excellent waiter-served food and wine. Several times during the tour we will also sample authentic local cuisine off the train.
Drinks with Meals and from the Bar Lounge Car
A generous drinks allowance is included with lunch and dinner. For passengers travelling in Gold Class on board the Golden Eagle, drinks from the Standard Drinks List in the Bar Lounge Car are also included. For Imperial Suite guests, drinks from both the Standard and Premium Bar Lists (excluding premium wines) in the Bar Lounge Car are included.
On Board Service
You can expect service which is attentive, friendly and unintrusive. Your car attendants provide 24-hour housekeeping and bedding turndown services, with one attendant always on duty to assist you and to ensure you are comfortable in your cabin. Complimentary tea, coffee and bottle drinking water are available in your cabin 24 hours a day.
Guided Off-Train Excursions
The history and culture of the places we visit on our rail cruises will come alive through our expert local guides. All our tours include a wide-ranging sightseeing schedule to make the most of the time you have off the train and bring you closer to the culture, people and history of your destinations. We believe it is the special little touches that help create magical memories.
Imperial Suite guests will benefit from the option of a private car and guide in selected places we visit along the route.
Freedom of Choice Touring
Customise your journey and enjoy the opportunity to select from an array of Freedom of Choice Touring options that best suits your interests. Your off-train excursions will still take in all the major attractions of the places we are visiting but, in featured locations, you will be presented when you are onboard the train with a variety of activities from which to choose, and enjoy a tailor-made experience. Look at the individual itineraries where we are operating Freedom of Choice Touring.
Freedom of Choice Touring options may be subject to variations dependent on finalised train timings and local charges. Touring options available will typically be advised in the evening prior to the day’s tour.
On all the off–train excursions, to enhance your enjoyment and comprehension of the places you visit, you will be provided with a lightweight personal headset on which to listen to your tour guide as you take in the sights. So you do not need to worry about missing any of the interesting details on your excursions.
On Board Doctor and Medical Facilities
To give you peace of mind our tours are accompanied by a doctor who travels with us for the entire journey; so you can rest assured that medical assistance is always available. On call 24 hours a day, the doctor is on hand to give primary care as required. Normally, the doctor will be English speaking and be registered with the General Medical Council in the UK.
24 Hour Service Attendant
Your car attendants provide 24-hour housekeeping and bedding turndown services, with one attendant always on duty to assist you and to ensure you are comfortable in your cabin. Complimentary tea, coffee and bottled drinking water are available in your cabin 24 hours a day.
As you only have to unpack once, your luggage and belongings will stay with you on the train throughout the journey but, wherever necessary, porterage is included between the hotel and stations.
You will not have to worry about tipping on and off the train on your rail journey with Golden Eagle Luxury Trains as all gratuities are included in the tour price.
DATES & RATES for 2020
|USD ($)||Silver Cabin||Gold Cabin||Imperial Suite|
|Feb 25- Mar 10||18,195||26,695||21,995||33,195||38,195||76,295|
All prices are per person and in US dollars. We charge in Australian dollars based on the prevailing rate of exchange at time of payment. Prices do not include international flights. For a complete list of tour inclusions see the inclusions tab above.
DATES & RATES for 2021
|USD ($)||Silver Cabin||Gold Cabin||Imperial Suite|
|Feb 25 – Mar 11||18,995||28,495||22,895||37,995||39,795||79,495|
All prices are per person and in US dollars. We charge in Australian dollars based on the prevailing rate of exchange at time of payment. Prices do not include international flights.
For a complete list of tour inclusions see the inclusions tab above.
Take the trip of a lifetime
Find out more about the Golden Eagle Luxury Train.